January 7, 2019 / 7:21 AM / 13 days ago

Norwegian Air passenger growth slows, fuel losses increase

OSLO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Budget carrier Norwegian Air posted smaller than expected passenger growth in December and recorded additional losses from fuel hedging positions, its monthly traffic report showed on Monday.

Norwegian, which has been courted by British Airways owner IAG, has rapidly expanded its transatlantic business in recent years but has struggled to turn a profit amid tough competition.

While the airline’s capacity grew by 34 percent year-on-year in December, revenue-generating passenger kilometres increased by only 24 percent, lagging a forecast of 32.9 percent in a Reuters poll of analysts.

For the October-December quarter, Norwegian Air estimated a unrealised loss from fuel hedging amounting to 1.99 billion Norwegian crowns ($231.67 million), an increase from the preliminary October-November loss reported last month of 1.46 billion. ($1 = 8.5897 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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